Film of the Day (05/11/18): The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street
Written By Terence Winter (screenplay) and Jordan Belfort (novel)
Directed By Martin Scorsese

When is enough…enough? That’s the question at the heart of this story about the life and dealings of Jordan Belfort, the man who took Wall Street by storm and inspired Boiler Room before this Scorsese-helmed adaptation of his memoir. If the real guy is anything like he’s portrayed on screen, he seems like a hell of a guy to know. And he throws a pretty wicked party…

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Scorsese and DiCaprio have teamed together several times now, always with high quality results. This one is no different (as I’m sure everyone reading this already knows, since I’m very late to this party), as Leo delivers a magnetic and powerful performance that ranks right up there with some of his best work. Scorsese has once again put together a strong film about the rise and fall of a powerful individual so drunk on greed and success they can’t see the storm gathering all around them. It’s like Casino on the East Coast, and has a much less shrill female lead.

I wasn’t bothered by the three hour run time. It seems strange, since I was complaining about a nearly-three hour length on American Honey, but for this picture, excess is the name of the game, so three hours felt like a service to the story being told. It’s reckless and lacks regulation, which feels like one of the many winks to the audience, given the subject matter. It’s also really funny, often in very absurd ways, which really helps those three hours fly right past you. You feel like you’re in every bit the same whirlwind that the characters occupy. You can’t believe what went on, and neither could they. But they loved every second of it, and I did, too.

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. This is a film that has it all, in absolutely ridiculous quantities. It’s so dirty, in the American Dream-run-wild sort of way, that you may want a shower afterward. Or you may want to switch careers. That is, if you can sell me this pen…

Film of the Day


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